Matt & Kelsey 1 Second Everyday Proposal
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To view the proposal video, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBMN3AX13HM
In July 2013, I began creating a 1 Second Everyday video after being inspired to capture everyday moments from one of my co-workers. For 12 months, I filmed Kelsey's and my life together and edited each day into a one second clip, to eventually be spliced together into one continuous video. Keep that in mind - as it will come back up later in the story...
I knew that Kelsey was the woman I wanted to marry a long time ago, but wanted to make sure that the timing was perfect and the proposal was one that she would be proud to tell for years to come. So I weighed lots of different options. I thought about doing it back in Virginia for a while, or maybe over Christmas, and I began shopping for a wedding ring early in 2014. I came back to Virginia for a work event at Devils Backbone Brewing Co. in Nelson County in March. I arranged to stay with the Gillenwaters in Fredericksburg after the event so that I could ask Kelsey's dad for permission to marry his daughter. The next morning, Mr. G and I went to eat breakfast at one of his favorite breakfast spots in town; The Battlefield. We talked about various subjects - life, love, and family. I took the opportunity to ask him if I could have his permission to marry Kelsey. To my delight - he said yes.
Over the next few months, I began going to every jeweler in the greater Denver metro area looking for the right ring - but I had no idea what I was doing. So instead of winging it, I took the opportunity of being back home in May to ask Mrs. Gillenwater for her input. We went to the Jared's in Fredericksburg while Mr. G distracted Kelsey back at the house. We looked at several dozen rings, and with Mrs. Gillenwater's insight - I knew that I wanted something classic, yet unique. What that meant - I had no idea. But I knew that I had a lot of searching to do.
I went to a jeweler in Boulder and had them custom design a ring for me. I wanted lots of different features of various rings - but not the exact design of any of their available ones. When they showed me the design that I ordered, I was happy with it, but it still wasn't EXACTLY what I wanted so I gave it a night to think it over. The next day, I was on my way back to the jeweler that I had custom ordered the ring from when I passed one last jewelry store that I had not been to. On a whim, I thought 'maybe they have the right ring', and I walked in with no expectation of finding it, since I had been on this quest for months with little luck.
I walked in to Schapell's Jewelers and began describing what I wanted and was stopped short when I saw the ring that I immediately knew had to be it. I tried to play it cool, and act like it wasn't the ring I wanted, but I bought it less than 24 hours later. It wasn't ready for pick-up for another few weeks as they placed the diamond, so I had a little while to think about how I wanted to ask Kelsey.
One of the things that Kelsey and I share, and one of the reasons that I love her so much, is a deep appreciation of our families. I knew that I wanted to have everyone that I could have involved in the proposal, but living 1,600 miles away from the majority of our families made it challenging. So it hit me one day on my way home from work that I could incorporate the 1 Second Everyday video that I had been working on for 11 months at the time. I thought it over a little more - and it became clear once that I envisioned our family's involvement that there was no way that I could NOT go through with what I was planning.
So I rounded up the majority of our immediate family members (unfortunately, I didn't have enough room to include all of the aunts & uncles that we have, but we appreciate them understanding the dilemma!), and had each of them film themselves saying the following phrase:
"Kelsey - this video represents one year of the memories we've shared together. Imagine the memories we can make in fifty years."
I edited the footage to include a one second clip of each family member saying that phrase in succession one person after the other at the end of the video. I also played the video in conjunction with a band called Black Rust's cover of the Bob Dylan song called I Want You. I'm notoriously a big Dylan fan, and I think this version encompasses all types of love that a person can experience in this life - so I thought it was perfect.
On Saturday, August 2, 2014 I tapped one of Kelsey's best friends, Maggie 'T-Grip/MageCarney/Magellan the Discoverer of Worlds' Carnohan to help me pull it all off. She took Kelsey on a 'Girls Day' under the rouse that they were just going to get their hair and nails done in Denver. Little did she know that she was about to become The Future The Future Mrs. Kelsey Bolling.
Kelsey and I spend a lot of our time together playing card games and I wanted to incorporate that into the day. So I bought a deck of cards, and wrote a favorite memory of us on each one of them, for a total of 52 of our memories together. At the beginning of the day, Maggie gave Kelsey a letter from me that said I hope she enjoyed her day and that I had an important question to ask her that evening. Throughout the day, Maggie gave Kelsey a few of the cards at each of the stops they made throughout the day. Here's a few of the cards:
- Favorite Memory #31: Kayaking with your parents down the Rappahannock on the 4th of July.
- Favorite Memory#13: Visiting Patrick & Anna in Charleston... The next stop was Denver!
- Favorite Memory #15: Kathryn & Mike's wedding in the Outer Banks.
I decided that I thought it would be cool to ask Kelsey to marry me in a place that would incorporate all of the aesthetics of Colorado, so I rented out Sunrise Amphitheater from the City of Boulder for the evening that I was planning to ask her. It is just a short drive up Flagstaff Mountain west of Boulder- and it gives panoramic views of Colorado's front range. In the week leading up to Saturday, I contacted a small group of our friends that we consider to be our 'Colorado Family', and told them my plans. They met me at the amphitheater about an hour before Maggie was going to arrive with Kelsey and helped me set up some champagne and cheese & crackers for an impromptu engagement party after Kelsey said yes. Then they hid and waited.
Shortly after we finished setting up, Kelsey arrived. I was nervous, but when I saw her coming down the stairs that we had set up some luminaries on earlier, all of my nerves subsided and I was excited. I was set up on the stage with my computer. When Kelsey got to me, I played the video for her that showed all of our memories over the previous 12 months. At the end - our family members came on, and all said in succession "Kelsey - this video represents one year of our memories together. Imagine the memories we can make in fifty years." After the video ended, she turned to me, and I pulled out two last cards that I was holding onto from the deck. The last two were:
- Favorite Memory #51: Asking your Dad for permission to marry you while we had breakfast at one of his favorite spots - The Battlefield in Fredericksburg, VA.
- Favorite Memory #52: This Moment.
Then I got down on one knee and asked Kelsey "Will you marry me?". She said yes, and kissed me. I was so nervous that I forgot to put the ring on her finger before I stood up to hug her. Then, I called for everyone to jump out from their hiding spots. We all enjoyed celebrating together and Kelsey and I called many of our family members to let them know the good news.
Throughout the whole event, Kelsey's brother Lucas, and one of our good friends, Dave Garrabrant, were at the Amphitheater taking pictures of the entire proposal. Thanks, dudes!
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